It's been a while since I've had the chance to get away for a week on retreat. I'm just back from a week in Kentucky where I spent several days at The Abbey of our Lady of Gethsemani and the Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill. It seems it took getting away for me to realize just how much I missed getting away. It was a time of rest and renewal. Nature always plays a significant role in my recharging and I was blessed with several days of beautiful spring weather that gave me many opportunities to walk and even to just sit and pay attention to the world. There will be several postings over the next few days (I hope) as I process my time away, but I'd like to begin by repeating the words of Thomas Merton who lived at Gethsemani for many years:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Not do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.
(Photo of abandoned North American Van Lines trailer that rests in the woods across the highway from the Abbey of our Lady of Gethsemani. Thomas Merton would sometimes steal away to this trailer to read, write and ...)